A World Cup bow at Germany 2006 and still shining at Qatar 2022.Croatian football legend Luka Modric may well be playing his last ever World Cup game.For the second time in their history, Croatia will compete for third place.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 16, 2022
Croatia and Morocco will kick off on Saturday 17 December to decide third and fourth place at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, a match highly likely to be Luka Modric’s last ever appearance at a World Cup.
— HNS (@HNS_CFF) December 13, 2022
In the build-up to Croatia’s first game against Morocco in the group stage, the midfield maestro talked about his international future, said ,“If we win the World Cup it’d be amazing. If that happened, I could retire.”
But fate stood in the way of the Real Madrid magician going out at the very top. The 3-0 defeat by Argentina in the semi-final shattered Croatia’s dreams, and they will now return to the pitch against Morocco in the play-off for third place.
🔎 | FOCUS
Luka Modrić in the #FIFAWorldCup knockout stages:
👕 6 apps
⏱️ 668' played
👌 107.7 touches p/g
👟 88.1% accurate passes
🏁 81.4% accurate final third passes
💨 72.2% successful dribbles
🔫 3 pen. shootout goals
📈 7.45 avg Sofascore rating
Big. Game. Player. 🇭🇷💫 pic.twitter.com/Q0vKD6MY0k
— Sofascore (@SofascoreINT) December 12, 2022
Despite this, the Croatia No10’s glittering career, awash with titles and trophies, has seen him become one of the best midfielders in the history of football, as Qatar 2022 has demonstrated yet again. During an unconvincing start, Croatia seemed a shadow of the team they were at Russia 2018, but within weeks Zlatko Dalic’s side had come within a whisker of reaching their second consecutive FIFA World Cup Final.
Luka Modric’s tally of 161 senior international caps prior to the meeting with Morocco, Modric is a genuine icon in a Croatian team to which he has managed to transmit his skill, character and mindset. A clash of the titans with fellow modern legend Lionel Messi in the semi-final may have ended in defeat, but Planet Football is still ready to pay Modric the tribute he deserves, in what is likely to be his last ever appearance on the World Cup stage.